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Old 09-05-2013, 11:45
Nessun Dorma
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Intending to drink alcohol isn't an offence, and even if you do drink alcohol it isn't an offence until you reach the designated blood-alcohol level. Other places (e.g. some US states) have laws about having any open alcohol containers in the car.





Er, no, pretty much the only thing with a strict ban is using a handheld phone. For anything else the police would need evidence that your control of the vehicle had been adversely affected by what you were doing.
Sorry, it wasn't the RTA, it is The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 Regulation 104.

No person shall drive or cause or permit any other person to drive, a motor vehicle on a road if he is in such a position that he cannot have proper control of the vehicle or have a full view of the road and traffic ahead.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:48
Nessun Dorma
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The lights had just turned Red, so of course, it was going to be a minute of two before they changed again. She wasn't using her phone. She simply LOOKED at it to see if a message she was waiting for had come through. She glanced at it for like a second and put it back down. Unfortunately, the taxi driver pulled up the second she glanced at her phone, and made the wrong assumption she was driving whilst she was on her phone.
A bit like the assumption you made about taxi drivers?
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:50
Nessun Dorma
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I don't think so.
Sorry, you are right it was: The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 Regulation 104
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:51
Ben_Copland
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With all the bells and whistles you get on mobile phones these days, I wish the manufacturers would come up with a device that was able to recognise when the user was driving, and make the phone switch itself off until they pulled over in a safe place. I'm not sure how it would work though.
GPS, track the speed
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:52
macsmurray
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GPS, track the speed
So passengers can't call or text either?
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:54
Nessun Dorma
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Having known her for years, I can assure you she most certainly would NOT have read the message had there been one. How extremely presumptuous of you.
So why bother looking at all?

You are not one to lecture about making assumptions.

Like I said, she had a mere glance. Had there been a message, she would have waited until we arrived home before she read it. She's an extremely sensible driver. It was nothing more than a 1 second glimpse, equal to someone quickly checking their watch or looking through their rear-view mirror. There was no phone unlocking, no password typing, no nothing.
It matters not whether it was one second or one minute, she still was breaking law. As were you.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:56
Pull2Open
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Exactly, the police can stop you for dinking coke, or water or gin, doesn't matter what is, it can be defined as an offence when driving.
I'm not a expert and I don't particularly care, but I am curious to know because, well, I'm pretty sure that drinking whilst stationary at things like traffic lights or in traffic jams isn't illegal.
When I was a probationary Constable, my tutor pulled a woman over and stuck her on for driving witout due care and attention because she was eating an apple and he (I didn't) saw her swerve as she bit into it!

In terms of the OP, shouting at someone who is driving while on the phone is likely to be the culmination of previous events. I have shouted at people before for this reason but only if they have almost caused a collision or are not paying attention when lights change or if there is a gap in traffic at a give way because they are talking or texting! We will never know what led this man to do what he did, but at a guess, it was probably justified!
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:56
Nessun Dorma
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I'd never do that, although I can see his point of view.

The woman in front of me wouldn't move when the lights changed to green a couple of days ago, due to the fact that she had her head down, presumably texting.

I had to give a pap of my horn before she'd go (bet somebody will tell me that's illegal)
Not in the slightest. In fact, you were using the horn in the exact manner in which it is designed for; to let other road users know you are there.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:57
Nessun Dorma
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GPS, track the speed
Would that mean I couldn't use my phone on a train?
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:59
tellywatcher73
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I've got an app that reads a text out to me if I get one while driving, a bit like hands free for texts. I can't reply but at least I know if it's urgent and I need to stop somewhere to get in touch with someone. TBH none of the texts I've had have been that important that I've had to disrupt my journey and I certainly wouldn't risk trying to read them. If someone calls, I've got hands free through the car, although if I'm in busy traffic, I let it ring as even that can be distracting.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:02
Pull2Open
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Just putting myself in the role of a copper. I see you stopped in traffic swigging from what looks like a bottle of wine so I ask you to pull over for a breathaliser.
You pass the test. I'm not happy cos I can see you've been drinking alcohol. I will try to find any excuse to give you a ticket.
There are certain alcoholic beverages where the alcohol takes longer to register (I forget what is what now!) but when I was a serving police officer, we were told during training that if they say they had been drinking, say, lager, then keep them talking for a while before you breathalyse them to give the alcohol time to get to the illegal limit.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:39
tealady
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Had there been a message, she would have waited until we arrived home before she read it.
Then there was no point in checking for a message
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:40
Nessun Dorma
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There are certain alcoholic beverages where the alcohol takes longer to register (I forget what is what now!) but when I was a serving police officer, we were told during training that if they say they had been drinking, say, lager, then keep them talking for a while before you breathalyse them to give the alcohol time to get to the illegal limit.
Are there not legal limits to wait before taking a test?
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:56
davidmcn
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Sorry, it wasn't the RTA, it is The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 Regulation 104.

No person shall drive or cause or permit any other person to drive, a motor vehicle on a road if he is in such a position that he cannot have proper control of the vehicle or have a full view of the road and traffic ahead.
So, like we were saying, there isn't a blanket ban against eating or drinking behind the wheel, only being demonstrably not in proper control of the vehicle. Unlike handheld phones, which are an offence even if you're a multi-tasking expert.
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Old 09-05-2013, 13:00
Pull2Open
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Are there not legal limits to wait before taking a test?
Do you mean, must breathalyse within 5 mins of stop otherwise it is unlawful, that sort of thing?
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Old 09-05-2013, 13:12
Nessun Dorma
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Do you mean, must breathalyse within 5 mins of stop otherwise it is unlawful, that sort of thing?
No, the time between last drink and being breathalysed.
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Old 09-05-2013, 13:23
Pull2Open
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No, the time between last drink and being breathalysed.
Not as far as I remember it is difficult to gauge when the last drink was taken and you generally don't go on the word of the driver! If you were suspected of being drunk in charge of a vehicle you can be breathalysed and if positive, arrested in order to test you on the bigger machine back at the nick! When I was serving, every RTA attended after 7pm, all parties were routinely breathalysed! There was one case I know of where the breathalyser showed positive but between arrest and second test, it had dropped under the legal limit!
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Old 09-05-2013, 13:30
Liamforking
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Texting while driving really should be punished as severely as drunk driving - it is appalling to me that anyone can be this thoughtless for their own safety and the safety of others.
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Old 09-05-2013, 13:46
Gilbertoo
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Sorry, you are right it was: The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 Regulation 104
Which doesn't specify that a person can't eat or drink in a stationary car.
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Old 09-05-2013, 14:11
UKMikey
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Texting while driving really should be punished as severely as drunk driving - it is appalling to me that anyone can be this thoughtless for their own safety and the safety of others.
It's harder to prove in retrospect though and relies on witness testimony or perhaps CCTV. Drinking leaves traces of alcohol in the system which can be measured with a breathalyser.

I promise that I'm not trying to defend txting drivers, just pointing out that it may be harder to make the charges stick.
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Old 09-05-2013, 14:59
Flufan
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Not too happy about this bit of reporting:

A new fixed penalty of a 90 fine plus three points will be introduced for careless driving such as cutting up other drivers, tailgating, middle-lane hogging, eating a sandwich or lighting a cigarette at the wheel, or driving at an inappropriate speed.
Surely these two (in bold) aren't going to be specifically outlawed? Isn't it, as has been discussed, not a matter of them being intrinsically wrong but only counting as careless driving or not being in control of the vehicle if you're... well, driving carelessly or not in control as a result of doing them?
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Old 09-05-2013, 15:01
towers
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Not as far as I remember it is difficult to gauge when the last drink was taken and you generally don't go on the word of the driver! If you were suspected of being drunk in charge of a vehicle you can be breathalysed and if positive, arrested in order to test you on the bigger machine back at the nick! When I was serving, every RTA attended after 7pm, all parties were routinely breathalysed! There was one case I know of where the breathalyser showed positive but between arrest and second test, it had dropped under the legal limit!
I was watching Traffic Cops the other day - or a similar programme - and one chap who'd been pulled over for suspected drink-driving during the daytime blew 94 at the roadside but 115 later on at the station - he'd been on a serious bender the night before.
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Old 09-05-2013, 15:32
dee123
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I'm going to probably completely stereotype people here but.... The ONLY people i see doing this are young females in small cars, people who are obviously a courier or drive a delivery truck or people in expensive SVU's and 4WD's.
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Old 09-05-2013, 18:44
SaturnV
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Have just seen a chap driving and talking on a hands free phone. Just as well as both hands were fully occupied holding up the document he was reading on the steering wheel.
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:01
davidmcn
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Surely these two (in bold) aren't going to be specifically outlawed? Isn't it, as has been discussed, not a matter of them being intrinsically wrong but only counting as careless driving or not being in control of the vehicle if you're... well, driving carelessly or not in control as a result of doing them?
Yes, though the same applies to the other things (tailgating etc), none of which is a specific offence either.
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